Williston Herald: New oil & gas rules contained 4 of 5 unreported Zavanna spills

The Williston Herald reports that four of five spills that occurred and initially went unreported at Zavanna well sites were successfully contained, thanks in large part to new rules adopted by North Dakota's Industrial Commission that require the use of dikes or secondary containment.

The North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources continues to investigate an 800-barrel spill that escaped containment and contaminated nearby ground near Highway 1804. Director Lynn Helms explains to the Herald:

“In four of five cases, the new rules prevented environmental pollution risks to public health and safety, which is really what they are all about,” Helms said. “Field personnel are doing an inventory, and we’ll be meeting soon to go over that and see what it tells us about the root cause of the spills.”

Helms said particular attention will be paid to the 800-barrel spill at the company’s Sabertooth well, east of Williston, along 1804, a portion of which escaped containment. How much is still being determined, but North Dakota Spill Investigation Manager Bill Suess estimated the affected off-site area was 300 by 12 feet.

Read the full story here.